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Open Education Resources: Creative Commons Licenses

OERs and Creative Commons licenses

OERs often have Creative Commons (CC) licenses. These permissions are a standardized way for creators to retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work. Some CC licenses (with non-commercial or non-derivative conditions) restrict how you can use a resource. For this reason, some resources are more free than others.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States. They are devoted to expanding the range of creative works that are available to share and build upon legally.

The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons licenses, free of charge to the public. These licenses allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive, for the benefit of recipients or other creators. Each of their licenses is represented with a symbol that explains all the rights associated with the resource.

Using a Creative Commons license on open educational resources has become a mainstay within the sector.

How free is this resource?

Attribution

This page is adapted from About the Licenses by Creative Commons, licensed under CC-BY 4.0.

Frequently used Creative Commons licenses

Full details for the licenses listed below are found at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

The Licenses

 
Public Domain
CC 0

CC0 lets creators waive all rights and place a work in the public domain. Attribution is not required, but is recommended. This is not a license. Instead, it shows the absence of a license.

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Attribution
CC BY

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

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Attribution-ShareAlike
CC BY-SA

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

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Attribution-NoDerivs
CC BY-ND
This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 
CC BY-NC 
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA 
This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
CC BY-NC-ND 
This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

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Content by Vancouver Community College Library is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License